A New Naloxone Machine Unveiled at Union Hospital
The Naloxone vending machine holds up to 350 doses.
(TERRE HAUTE, Ind.) - Today, Union Health announced the placement of Indiana’s newest naloxone vending machine at Union Hospital Terre Haute – Building 1, outside of the Emergency Department. The machine is one of 19 to be placed statewide and will be available for use by the public. Gov. Eric J. Holcomb first announced the initiative in December 2021.
“There is no single solution to ending this epidemic that has taken the lives of thousands of Hoosiers,” Gov. Holcomb said. “We can, however, take thoughtful steps to help shake the scourge of addiction from our communities. Naloxone vending machines are a practical tool to prevent overdoses and save lives.”
Naloxone, also known as Narcan, is a medication approved to reverse an overdose from opioids and is given when a person is showing signs of opioid overdose to block the deadly effects of the overdose.
The vending machines are manufactured by Shaffer Distribution Company and programmed to dispense free naloxone kits. Each kit includes a single dose of naloxone, instructions for use, and a referral to treatment for substance use disorder. The machine holds up to 300 naloxone kits and is free to access.
Overdose Lifeline, Inc., an Indiana nonprofit dedicated to helping those affected by substance use disorder, is partnering with the Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA) Division of Mental Health and Addiction (DMHA) to identify jails, hospitals, and other community sites interested in a vending machine to distribute the lifesaving medication. Machines have already been placed in public areas of the St. Joseph, Wayne, DuBois, Marion, and Monroe County jails, Tippecanoe County Community Corrections, Clark Memorial Hospital, and an Eskenazi Health Center in Indianapolis.
Overdose Lifeline will purchase the vending machines using federal grant funds totaling $72,600 made available through DMHA. There is no cost to entities that implement a vending machine.
“We must continue to ensure widespread access to naloxone, given the lingering impact of COVID-19 and the increased supply of fentanyl in our 92 counties,” said Douglas Huntsinger, executive director for drug prevention, treatment, and enforcement for the state of Indiana. “Every life lost to a drug overdose is one too many. Naloxone offers the opportunity to get individuals with substance use disorder on the path to long-term recovery.”
Indiana reported a 21% increase in fatal overdoses during the 12-month period beginning in December 2020 and ending in December 2021, according to provisional data released in May by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“This machine gives Vigo County residents zero-barrier access to a medication that could mean the difference between life and death,” Rebecca Lynch, Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, said. “Union Health is proud to be the recipient of one of the state’s first naloxone vending machines, and we applaud Governor Holcomb’s commitment to address the drug epidemic.”
To learn about Overdose Lifeline’s naloxone distribution opportunities or to request a free naloxone kit, visit www.overdoselifeline.org.
About Union Health
Union Health is a not-for-profit health system that provides comprehensive health care to patients in west central Indiana and eastern Illinois. Serving its communities since 1892, Union Health provides care to all area residents regardless of their ability to pay. Their patient-focused philosophy emphasizes collaboration, integrity, transparency and stewardship to help patients reach better health and well-being. For more information on Union Health, visit www.myunionhealth.org
About Richard G. Lugar Center for Rural Health
The Richard G. Lugar Center for Rural Health is a division of UH committed to advancing rural health through education, innovation, and collaboration. Since its inception in 1992, the Lugar Center has partnered with clinicians, educators, policy makers, and health care facilities across the region, state, and nation to provide resources, guidance, and assistance to reduce health disparities to rural and underserved populations.
For media inquiries, please contact: Mandi Scott at 812.208.8198
If you are interested in contributing to local harm reduction efforts, please reach out to the Richard G. Lugar Center for Rural Health at www.LugarCenter.org